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Otterspeer holds huge lead after impressive first day at Dutch Sprint Championships

Otterspeer holds huge lead after impressive first day at Dutch Sprint Championships

Hein Otterspeer holds a huge lead after the opening day of the Dutch Sprint Championships at Thialf, Heerenveen. The 32-year-old sprinter of Team Jumbo-Visma skated very well on Saturday, especially in the men's 1,000-meter race. Teammates Thomas Krol, Dai Dai N'tab and Kai Verbij are in second, third and fourth place after the first day of the tournament.

Otterspeer, who finished second in the men's 500-meter race earlier on Saturday, won the men's 1000-meter race with a time of 1:07.99. For Otterspeer, it was the first time he skated a sub-1:08 time in the 1,000 meters at Thialf, Heerenveen. Before Saturday, he had skated his fastest 1,000-meter race (1:08.05) at the Dutch Sprint Championships of 2019, which he won. Teammate Krol ended up in second place by setting a time of 1:08.19.

Kjeld Nuis, who was disqualified in the men's 500-meter race due to a wrong substitution, finished third in the 1000 meters (1:08.61). Verbij (1:09.10) and N'tab (1:09.28) ended up in fourth and sixth place. Earlier on Saturday, N'tab managed to win the men's 500-meter race with a time of 34.79.

Otterspeer will start the second day of the tournament with a lead of 0.55 seconds over Krol in the men's 500-meter race. N'tab is third in the classification at 0.62 seconds. Verbij holds fourth place. Merijn Scheperkamp of the development team is in fifth. Tijmen Snel, Serge Yoro and Joost van Dobbenburgh are eighth, ninth and seventeenth.

"I am very happy", Otterspeer said with a huge smile on his face after the first day. "I finally belong to the club of skaters who have skated in the 1:07 at Thialf, Heerenveen. I am very glad I have achieved that. I was satisfied with my 500-meter race. A good time and I didn't make any mistakes, but in my 1000-meter race I really delivered a sledgehammer blow. Of course, we are only halfway, but I'm going to do everything I can to get that wreath tomorrow evening."

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